Maryland Terps

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Rasheed Sulaimon and why Turgeon is the man he trusts most

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Rasheed Sulaimon and why Turgeon is the man he trusts most

COLLEGE PARK -- After the graduation of Dez Wells, Maryland needed a starting-caliber shooting guard this offseason if it wanted to take itself from a Top 15 school to a legitimate national title contender.

So head coach Mark Turgeon looked to a player with whom he and assistant Dustin Clark have had a relationship since that player was in middle school -- Rasheed Sulaimon.

After being dismissed from the Duke basketball program, Sulaimon was working to finish his degree in order to be able to transfer and be eligible to play immediately at the school of his choice to play out his final year of eligibility.

“I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know who to trust. I didn’t know what to believe in,” Sulaimon told CSN at the team’s media day last month.

“There’s no one in America that I trust more than Coach Turgeon and when I was making my decision, that’s what factored in the most.”

Sulaimon had been a five-star recruit coming out of high school and in Houston, Texas. Turgeon, not far away while at Texas A&M, was trying to keep in-state talent at home.

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He would ultimately choose Duke, but Turgeon would remain in contact with Sulaimon and his family throughout his college career. When the opportunity arose again, the time appeared to be right.

“I know he was a good kid that was raised the right way,” Turgeon told CSN. “I know what’s inside of him. I know he’s a good kid. He just needed a chance. He needed someone that believed in him and I do.”

Sulaimon fills Maryland’s biggest need after Wells’ departure. He is a dogged defender on the perimeter, even in the team’s relaxed scrimmage at last month’s Midnight Madness when he stuck to sophomore Jared Nickens on that end of the floor.

But he is also a threat offensively. As a freshman at Duke when he got a full 29 minutes per game, he averaged 11.6 points while shooting 37 percent from three-point range. He is far from a defensively specialist, though he is probably the team’s best perimeter defender.

He adds to a team that is already versatile, giving Turgeon the ability to make him a featured scorer or even use him as a primary ball handler in certain lineups.

“It’s a new start for him, it’s a last chance for him,” Turgeon said. “So he’s totally bought in and working really hard and he’s doing a lot of things to help our team with leadership just understanding been there experience type things.”

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens feels like he's playing his most consistent basketball right now, a bad omen for upcoming opponents considering Penn State expects its hybrid forward to do a little bit of everything.

Just like he did on Wednesday.

Stevens scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 in the second half to lift Penn State over Maryland 74-70.

RELATED: UPDATED DMV POWER RANKINGS

"Lamar really stepped up for us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We needed every one of those points that he had tonight."

Tony Carr added 16 points, Josh Reaves scored 14, and Mike Watkins added 11 for the Nittany Lions (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten Conference), who equaled their previous best mark for conference victories under Chambers.

"The best teams always find ways to win," Stevens said. "We locked down when we had to, got huge stops, huge rebounds and I think that's a huge step for this team."

With Maryland (16-10, 5-8) up 20-14 midway through the first half, Stevens nailed his first of two 3-pointers to spark a quick 9-0 run that helped Penn State take control.

He rolled layups off his fingers and sank midrange jumpers on multiple back-to-back possessions in the second half, where he scored 11 of his team's first 20 points.

"He made some incredible, incredible shots," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "He was terrific, he was so efficient."

Stevens added four rebounds, two assists and was 3-for-4 on free throws with all three makes coming in the final 5:48 as Maryland threatened.

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Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 15 points while Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando added 13 apiece.

Darryl Morsell had 10 points for the Terrapins, who cut a 10-point deficit with 8:11 to play to just three with 1:13 left.

"I didn't think we competed in the first half defensively," Turgeon said. "I thought in the second half, we were really trying hard."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins' disappointing season continues and they have dropped to 7-7 since stalwart forward Justin Jackson's season was ended by a torn shoulder ligament in late December. Although they shot better than their season average, the Terrapins were badly outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 32-22 and outrebounded 27-23.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are playing an exciting brand of basketball as of late. They have a combined 22 dunks over their last three home games and opponents are finding it hard to play fast against a team that thrives on speed.